I watched the Sonic movie the other day. It was at the library, so I thought I’d give it a go since I have nothing better to do. Aside from playing some Sonic GameCube game at the dentist as a kid and Mario And Sonic At The Olympic Games once in a while but I always played as Mario characters, I don’t really have knowledge or a connection to that little blue hedgehog. But I of course knew all about the public outcry that led to the whole animation of Sonic being redone for the movie after the first trailer dropped, so I wanted to see just what the movie was like with the changes. (It was average as far as kids movies go.)
It got me thinking about complaining and how with the internet, we’re all very quick to do so, and yet often it really is not worth it. Obviously, there’s a lot to complain about in our world, and I want to make it clear that serious issues like human rights is very much worth complaining about and worth action. This post is more about pop culture and lighter things. Like how there was a petition to edit out Kylie Jenner from the recent ‘WAP’ music video by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion because people just don’t like her. She doesn’t even sing, she’s just there in a video that you can choose to not watch if you want (and as a disclaimer, I have not watched said video or even listened to the song, so that’s how much I care about that issue).
I remember way back in 2013-ish when Apple revealed that iOS6 or whatever would have a new look and all the apps would look different. People were big mad. They compared the new look to a fake kids phone. They vowed to not update. Obviously Apple didn’t care because here we are seven years later and that style is still used and Apple is still thriving.
Technology is often complained about. Every time there’s an automatic update to how Twitter looks, I see many, many complaints about it. And I get it, change can be frustrating and annoying, especially when you saw no issues with how it was before. I mean, don’t tell WordPress, but I’m still using the very, very old editor because I just don’t want to deal with Blocks. But to my knowledge, complaining about stuff like technology and interface changes never works. I can’t think of any example where people rallied and the company/service listened and reverted back to how it was.
And of course, sometimes complaining and petitioning can work. I genuinely never thought we’d ever see a Snyder Cut of Justice League but after years of campaigning and complaining, it’s actually coming out in 2021. Similarly, petitions and online activism have saved many TV shows from cancellation like Brooklyn Nine-Nine or Lucifer. I know that fandoms can be very, very powerful (for good and bad), so I do respect the hustle most of the time.
So when is it worth complaining? I guess anytime you have a strong opinion and you can articulate it nicely and maturely is fine, but I think the key is knowing when to stop and when it’s not worth your time. Fans complaining the Snyder Cut into existence was an act of passion for the characters and the material whereas people complaining about Facebook changing a layout is more just out of annoyance. I do think companies need to know when customers/users are unhappy, but I’ve just kind of noticed that unless there are financial consequences or opportunities, things don’t often happen. C’est la vie.
I never watched Game Of Thrones, but the rage regarding the final season was unavoidable online. I did see a petition floating around for HBO to redo it with a better ending. And I do sympathize with fans who have a favourite show ruined with a sucky ending, but logically, it is not financially realistic for HBO to rehire all the actors (some who have new projects already) and crew, redo all the sets and costumes and whatnot, rewrite all the scripts, and redo it all. They already got the advertiser money when it aired the first time, and it’s unlikely that more or the same number of people would tune in to a redo anyway. So in that case, there is a point where, even if there is passion, it’s maybe not worth complaining about.
Goodness knows I’ve complained about stuff online and goodness knows I will keep doing it, so this isn’t like some preachy stuff from me at all, but I did just want to analyze the act of complaining that is so common these days to some success. I mean, as average as Sonic was, it would have been a lot worse if they stuck with the original design. I wouldn’t have even watched it.